Winner to perform live with The Second City! Think you’re funny? Here’s your chance to prove it! If your comedy routines kill at the water cooler or leave your family in stitches, you might just be the funniest person in town. Here’s your chance to prove your comedic skills as the Rockford Education Foundation (REF) and The Corner Bar launch a search for the “Funniest Person in Rockford.” The winner will perform live with famed comedy troupe “The Second City” during its performances for REF January 20 and 21, 2012, plus receive two VIP tickets to the show. While billed as the search for the “Funniest Person in Rockford,” the competition is open to anyone in West Michigan. Now through November 30, REF is accepting 1-3 minute video submissions at its web site (www.rockfordschools.org/ref). On December 5, 20 videos will be posted to REF’s Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/REF) where fans will vote for their favorite videos through December 31. On January 2, 10 finalists will be named based on “likes” at the REF Facebook page. Those comedians will perform live at The Corner Bar on January 12 and a panel of judges will select the winner who will perform with Second City on January 21 and 22. Entrants must be age 18 or older and fill out an application and submit their video at www.rockfordschools.org/ref.All video content must be family-friendly and comedy routines appropriate for all audiences. Tickets for The Second City are $35 and are available by calling REF at 616/863-6317 or through REF’s web site www.rockfordschools.org/ref. Event sponsorship opportunities are also available. The Rockford Education Foundation (REF) was established in 1991 to provide resources for increased educational opportunities for people of all ages in the Rockford Community. The REF is an independent, non-profit corporation, governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees from the community. Teachers, students, and community members with innovative ideas have received grants for wide-ranging, educational purposes. Grants are awarded twice yearly based on the merit of the request and its ability to promote educational excellence. For more information or ticket purchases, contact: Sue Arend, REF Administrator at 616-863-6317 or visit www.rockfordschools.org/ref. REF returns Second City for encore performances By CLIFF AND NANCY HILL When Chicago’s legendary comedy troupe, The Second City, last […]
Keep Your Laughter Local by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL When Chicago’s legendary comedy troupe, The Second City, last appeared in Rockford in January of 2010 it was a sell-out from the “git-go”. Appearing then to headline the Rockford Education Foundation’s (REF) annual benefit concert, Second City returns again for 2 evening performances of their “Laugh Out Loud Tour” on January 20 & 21, 2012. “Second City was a sell-out when they last performed in 2010,” said Beth Dornan, REF Trustee. “Bringing them back for not 1 but 2 shows along with the added twist of allowing a local comedian the opportunity to perform with them is sure to mean another hit for the REF and even more money raised for educational grants for Rockford.” Let’s embrace a “think local” attitude here. Instead of taking our monies outside of the Rockford community to attend LaughFest 2012 in Grand Rapids in March, why not support the good works of the REF and laugh your sides out right here at home in the cozy confines of the Rockford High School (RHS) Auditorium. “During the 2-day January stay, as an added plus, the Second City troupe is doing two 2-hour workshops with RHS performing arts students. One workshop of 15 beginning level students and other of 15 intermediate level students all who will experience a good time participating in the creation of comedic skits along with touching on such topics as improvisational techniques, comedic timing, and the ability to harness creativity,” said Sue Arend, REF Administrator, adding, “This is a win-win for everyone involved, both students and teachers alike, and the entire Rockford community as well.” When Second City last appeared in Rockford, your reporters warned of a possible sell-out and sure enough it happened. Yes, there will be two performances during the upcoming January appearances but that doesn’t guarantee ticket availability. Ticket sales thus far have been brisk and we’d suggest placing your ticket orders sooner rather than later. Smiley faces are much preferable to sad faces, right? As we advised in 2010, Second City performance tickets would make GREAT Christmas gifts for that person who has everything, is hard to please, or is just a plain old Grump who needs a bit of hilarity in their life […]
The last week of February, the Rockford High School Media Center housed 125 dedicated volunteers over a three-day period. These volunteers called every parent in the Rockford School District to ask for a donation to the Rockford Education Foundation. Their efforts resulted in over $22,500 in pledges to the foundation, which, in turn, gives over $60,000 per year to the community in the form of grants for educational purposes. “I think all of us at REF were concerned about meeting our goals this year, in light of the economy,”said Phone-a-Thon co-chair Gail Vanderlaan, “It was very gratifying to again receive so much financial support from the Rockford Community.” With fifteen Phone-a-Thons behind them, REF trustees have it down to a science. Approximately 25 parent, grandparent, RPS staff, or community volunteers come in for a two-hour shift. Vanderlaan trains the callers and puts about 18-20 of them to work on a bank of phones. Sue Arends, REF trustee, who was instrumental in developing the annual Phone-a-Thon in 1994, takes the rest of the volunteers, who stuff envelopes and prepare the mailing. “It’s quite a production,” says REF administrator Sue Arend. “Our pledges are down from last year, but that’s to be expected in times like these. We are just so grateful to those who pledged and to those who volunteered their time. It will be a big help as we prepare to face the budget cuts ahead!” Meadow Ridge Elementary School parent Beth O’Donnell not only organized 20 volunteers from her school, but she also worked two shifts herself. When asked if she enjoys working the Phone-a-Thon, Beth said, “I do enjoy doing what I can to help out REF and help out our schools. Although it was very humbling this year, as we heard many say they weren’t able to give due to financial hardship or loss of jobs, it was awesome and also humbling to have those who could give this year, do. Everyone did what they could, whether it was $10 or $100 and it was great to be a part of that!” REF trustee Theresa Webb co-chairs the event with Vanderlaan. “Now, more than ever, the need for REF grants are crucial. Thank you to our Rockford parents, for coming through once […]
The Rockford Education Foundation will be conducting its annual Phone-a-thon on February 24, 25 and 26, between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Volunteers will be calling parents in the Rockford School District to ask for donations. The foundation funds educational opportunities for learners in the Rockford area. “We typically give back around $60,000 per year to the Rockford community in grants,” says Phone-a-thon co-chairpersons, Gail Vanderlaan and Theresa Webb. “The Phone-a-thon is one of our largest fund-raisers of the year. Our goal is to raise at least $20,000.” “The state budget cuts in education have made our work even more important,” says Sue Arend, REF Administrator. “We really appreciate the support we have received from the community in the past, and hope people will consider helping us out in any way that you can, again this year.” Anyone interested in volunteering to help with the Phone-a-thon may call the REF at 863-6317.